I got back from the South Island on Saturday. Only eight passengers were on the flight from Timaru to Wellington - I hope under-half-full planes don't become a trend; we know what will happen to the Timaru service then.
I arrived on Wednesday. Dad had lost a fair bit of weight. He bit his tongue in the night and couldn't eat properly for the next week. Not much happened on Wednesday although I did get my hair cut in Temuka for just $14. On Thursday we visited my aunt and uncle (who has survived with cancer longer than anybody expected, and isn't getting any worse) in Hampden. On the way we stopped off at Riverstone Kitchen near Oamaru, a really weird place with a castle and moat. Attached to the restaurant, there were a few barns piled high with more gifty junky stuff for sale than you could imagine. They also grew their own fruit and vegetables - that was pretty cool. We then drove down the coast and stopped off for lunch to see a school of dolphins and several seals. We went as far as Moeraki and had a drink there before having fish and chips (which came from the "world famous" shop in Hampden) with my aunt and uncle.
Mum took me out for golf on Friday. I don't know why she bothered - I'm completely hopeless. On some holes I lost count, and I'm normally OK with counting. On the ninth hole - the last we did - I got a par three that came out of nowhere. In fact I wasn't far off a two. Some family came over for dinner.
On Saturday morning we saw my cousin's eight-year-old son play rugby - it was his first time playing with proper tackling. He played for a team called Celtics, against teams from Geraldine and Temuka. There were four mini-games going on at once, and they must have been doing that up and down the country. Both my dad and I felt a bit out of place there, but really everything happened with the right level of seriousness given the age of the kids. It's not good when you see parents get too emotionally involved, living vicariously through their kids. Grass-roots sport, both for adults and children, still seems to thrive in South Canterbury. The sport section of the Timaru Herald is full of things like Maureen McClutchie winning some golf trophy with a score of 92-23-69 (I just made that name up, but it's usually McSomething or O'Something), and presumably all those scores are important to somebody.
With the mystery of MH370 (my dad thinks the pilot committed suicide), an early candidate for word of the year is "ping". When I got back home, it was more of a case of "pong" emanating from downstairs. That aside, things are working out OK with Kevin. I do nearly all the cooking, but at least that way I control what I eat (I'm not sure I'd trust him). I met up with Tom yesterday; I still find him hard work at times, and I'm glad I didn't take him on as a flatmate.
Guess what - my parents are coming to Wellington for three days on Wednesday (they'd forgotten about my trip when they booked their flights; they could easily have booked to come up here at the same time as I was going down there). After that I doubt I'll see them for a while - they're going on a big overseas trip in early June.
Eight more days at work.